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United Nations Drops Wonder Woman as Honorary Ambassador Amid Controversy

Variety logo Variety 12/14/2016 Arya Roshanian
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The United Nations will no longer move forward with Wonder Woman’s honorary ambassadorship amid public uproar.

The U.N.’s decision to drop the Amazonian superheroine comes after a petition, asking U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider the selection, collected nearly 45,000 signatures, including from staff members of the organization.

“It is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls,” reads the petition. “The image that Wonder Woman projects (life-size cut outs of which have already appeared at UNHQ) is not culturally encompassing or sensitive — attributes the United Nations expects all its staff members to embody in the core value of respect for diversity.”

“A large-breasted white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots” is not an appropriate spokeswoman for gender equity at the United Nations, the petition also said.

Though the United Nations has yet to release a formal statement, Jeffrey Brez, a spokesperson for the U.N., told the New York Times that many people “voiced a concern that they didn’t feel it was appropriate for a fictional character to be representing women and girls.”

The selection came in celebration of Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary as a DC Comics superhero. Wonder Woman’s ambassadorship, which was intended to run through 2017, formally ends on Friday.

Brez told Reuters that the campaign had not ended early as a result of the protest, but because honorary ambassadorships usually have brief tenures — sometimes as short as a few days.

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